Arbitration season has officially come and gone and like most baseball fans I am glad its over.
My team, the Arizona Diamondbacks agreed with seven of the team’s eight arbitration-eligible players.
Right-hander Shelby Miller will make $4.35 million in 2016 as the no.2 starter behind Zack Greinke. Patrick Corbin ($2.525 million), Rubby De La Rosa ($2.35 million), Daniel Hudson ($2.7 million), Randall Delgado ($1.275 million), and Wellington Castillo ($3.7 million) also avoided arbitration. All seven signed one year deals.
The only D-back not to agree to terms with the team and avoid arbitration? All-Star A.J. Pollock of all people. Pollock and the team exchanged arbitration figures with the team on Friday. Pollock wants $3.9 million, and Arizona offered $3.65 million.
MLB Trade Rumors Matt Swartz predicted that Pollock would make $4.3 million. Considering that only a little over $.3 million separates the two sides, their is a real good chance they will reach an agreement before the dispute has to be settled by a judge at an arbitration hearing.
Both Pollock and the Diamondbacks expressed interest in working out a multi-year extension after a breakout season that established the 28-year-old as one of the best center-fielders in baseball both at the plate and in the field.
However, it looks like all Pollock will get is a contract for this upcoming season.
According to a report by Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, Pollock and the Diamondbacks have halted all extension talks.
This is what D-backs General Manager Dave Stewart texted Piecoro Friday evening:
“We, both sides, have for the time being put that away.”
What is Dave Stewart thinking?
That is all I can say to this statement. The Diamondbacks are trying to win now not just in 2016 but in the years to come and the idea that Pollock’s salary for the upcoming season has to come down to an arbitration dispute is quite frankly embarrassing.
Pollock had a career year in 2015 and if it wasn’t for Paul Goldschmidt, Pollock was the team’s MVP. Pollock slashed .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 39 stolen bases, and scored 111 runs at the top of the Snakes batting order.
Pollock also shined in the field making unbelievable plays and showing off unreal range and athleticism game in and game out. It wasn’t a surprise when Pollock won a Gold Glove in center-field. Pollock complied a .992 fielding percentage making just three errors.
If you’re the type of person that enjoys looking at advanced metrics, Pollock checks all the boxes. He saved 14 runs for his team in 2015, and compiled a +6.5 UZR/150.
All told, Pollock’s 6.6fWAR in 2015 was topped only by seven other position players!
Based on any level of performance, Pollock deserves an extension, and the D-backs as a team want him to remain a Diamondback for a long time so why not get that extension done now instead of kicking the can down the road?
While Pollock is under team control till 2019 before he hits free agency, its never a good thing to wait till the last minute.
With the new TV deal set to kick in, the Diamondbacks have plenty of money to spend and the payroll will not be effected. The Snakes have already locked up Paul Goldschmidt, and now its time to lock up their second best player.